Llewellyn continues to add to offensive records, play strong defense

Cody Dyer

Nikki Llewellyn, Missouri Southern’s all-time goals and scoring leader, scored three goals for her first career hat trick in a 5-1 win over Emporia State on Oct. 2 to give the senior 103 career points.

Wachsman knew four years ago when he began to recruit Llewellyn he had more than a promising soccer prospect.

“We have a lot of great people on the team,” Wachsman said. “That’s a part of the reason we have been successful as well. Nikki works hard at everything she does and is a great student.”

Wachsman was quick to point out the potential he saw in Llewellyn when the Lions began recruiting her.

“From her freshman year she has had an impact as a player and as a person,” Wachsman said. “Certainly all of the goals she has scored has made us successful and has won us a lot of games.”

Since Llewellyn, an O’Fallon native who attended Francis Howell High School, arrived on the scene in 2005, the Lions have averaged 11 wins per season.

“We have certainly needed her at times,” Wachsman said, “and she has come through for us a lot of the times.”

Llewellyn, a finance and economic major, began playing soccer when she was four years old.

“I began playing when I was very young,” she said. “It was always a goal to continue on.”

When Wachsman and the Lion coaching staff began recruiting Llewellyn, they recognized her ability to understand and read the game.

“Recruiting her, obviously, you hope to recognize talent, and hope that people can perform,” Wachsman said. “It was obvious during her freshman year she was going to be a very good player for us.”

It didn’t take long for Llewellyn to fit in.

“I was a little nervous coming in,” she said, “but the other girls made the transition easy for me.”

Llewellyn’s intuitive style of play helped her grow quickly in the program.

“A lot of the time, she gets to the right place at the right time,” Wachsman said. “She understands what’s going on tactically – she’s very intelligent.”

Even more impressive is the fact Llewellyn, who holds the Lions career leader in goals, shots and total points, is a midfielder – a position traditionally not known for scoring.

“For her to score that many goals and have the defensive responsibility as well is impressive,” Wachsman said. “I don’t think very many people realize she’s defending in the other half of the field as much as she is attacking.”